Speaking on the Agreement, General Sikorski remarked : " Not all
questions have been settled between Russia and Poland in the present
agreement, but a basis has been provided for useful collaboration. The
future will depend on the good-will of both sides. They possess that
In this last sentence, Sikorski spoke rather prematurely on behalf of the
Soviets, Russian diplomacy invariably wants to read an entirely different
meaning into the text when it comes to the fulfilment of its political
obligations. Poland had already experienced this fact after the signing of
the Treaty of Riga.
The same liistory was repeated on July 3Qth, 1941. After this agree-
ment had been signed, the Soviets immediately changed the tune of their
speeches. Maisky had employed all the familiar phrases and compli-
ments, " friendly feelings towards the people of Poland/' and " the
common enemy " and " expressed the hope that the Russians and the
Poles will fight side by side against the common foe, and this would pave
the way to a firm and solid friendship between the two peoples ..."
but simultaneously he was careful to declare, " it is not time to speak about
frontiers; it will be settled when the time conies to build a new Europe
on the basis ofc self-determination of the people V
It is difficult to assume that in saying these words, which, after all, were
normal Soviet phraseology, the Russian Ambassador could have forseen
the future Soviet action. This slogan of ' self-determination' was to
become for some long time the main one employed in their foreign policy.
At any rate, in his speech, Maisfcy had interpreted the Treaty in his own
way and thereby aroused a query regarding the frontier.
When announcing the signing of the Agreement, Eden told the House
of Commons that:
" the Soviet-German Treaties of 1939, concerning territorial changes in.
Poland, have lost their validity. The attitude of His Majesty's Government
in these matters was stated in general terms by the Prime Minister in the
House of Commons on September 5th, 1940, when he said that His Majesty's
Government did not propose to recognise any territorial changes which
took place during the war, unless they took place with the free consent and
good-will of the parties concerned. This holds good with territorial changes
which have been effected in Poland since August, 1939.
"... As to the future frontiers of Poland, as of other European countries,
I would draw attention to what my Right Honourable Friend said in the
speech to which I have referred."
The relevant passage in Churchill's speech reads :
" We have not at any time adopted, since this war broke out, the line that
nothing could be changed in the territorial structure of various countries. On
the other hand we do not propose to recognise any territorial changes which
take place during the war, unless they take place with the free consent and
good-will of the parties concerned."
On the same occasion, Captain McEwen (Con.), put the question:
* Am I right in assuming that, as a result of this Agreement, no guarantee